Health Tips for Seniors


Archive for November, 2005



Problems in the eyes

Eye difficulties

Black Eye. This common eye injury, often resulting from a blow, usually is not serious and clears up by itself, but since the eye is very precious and may have been damaged by the blow, an examination by a competent physician is recommended when any doubt about the eye condition is encountered. A safe, immediate treatment for black eye is bed rest and application of an ice bag.

Foreign Bodies in the Eye. Particles that get into the eye are called foreign bodies. They usually cause sharp pain and an excessive flow of tears, as nature attempts to float the foreign body out of the eye. Most windswept dust particles are effectively handled in this manner without any more active therapy than a few winks and blinks. Foreign bodies that do not wash out freely with tears, invite rubbing, but it is best to confine any such action to gently stroking the closed eyelids toward the nose. If the particle still remains, a nurse or doctor should examine the eye for a possible injury. When “something in the eye” does not wash out freely, consider no other course but the doctor’s recommendation. The best of intentions in rubbing the eye can unfortunately, turn insignificant eye injuries into serious ones.

Inflammation in the Eyes. Sties, pink eye and other eye inflammations usually caused by bacterial infection, are very common, quite painful and often considered to be contagious. The ever present tear is probably the best eye wash and germ killer in the entire world for these situations, but self treatment still causes much eye damage.

The best rule to follow in eye infection is to do nothing but close it and possibly apply mild heat until it clears up or the physician can see it. Modern drugs and methods of treating eye inflammation have changed considerably and should be considered preferable to home treatment.

Inflammation elsewhere in the body, as well as possible tumor growths, may reflect themselves by eye conditions. Pupils of unequal size may indicate neurological disease within the brain, requiring extensive study. Pupils which do not constrict in the presence of bright light, nor expand in the darkness may be considered a possible indication of systemic disease of the entire body, effecting the eye in this manner. Syphilis, an infectious systemic disease, has long been known to affect the eye pupils in this manner. Such unusual findings should prompt the individual to present himself to his physician for examination and possible treatment.




Examining the eyes for any difficulties

Examination of the Eyes

Examine the eye in a mirror with the aid of a strong light. For visual acuity, pin the eye chart on a wall at eye level, and stand back a measured twenty feet.


Fig. 6. The eyes are called the windows of the soul. Our most valuable physical possession, they are much abused and can develop many severe diseases. Eye care is extremely important.

1. Closely scrutinize the inner and outer surfaces of the eyelid, the eyeball itself, and the clear surface of the cornea. Observe any particle, hair or other substance embedded anywhere as a foreign body in the eye.
2. Observe the clear cornea and white of the eye. There should be no redness, large blood vessels or milky growth
of tissue present. Presence of these findings may mean eye inflammation, or pterygium.
3. Note the pupils, both of equal size, become smaller in bright light and larger in dim light. Failure of such pupil action, or any unequalness of size, may mean infection or disease within the brain.
4. Fix the vision on a distant light, such as a street lamp, during the evening. The appearance of rings, visible around the light with a blurring of the light itself, may indicate glaucoma.
5. With the vision fixed on a lighted object, quickly close and open the eyelids several times. Continuous blurring or distortion of one particular portion of the eye field may indicate astigmatism.
6. At a distance of twenty feet from the eye chart, accurately measured, determine the lowest correctly read line for each eye with glasses off and on. The 20-20 line is considered perfect vision. Determine the smallest readable print on the hand chart of varying size print. Print size No. 1 is considered perfect.







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